Sunday, August 09, 2015

The Stepford Anchors & Trump Gets Bloodied

Fox GOP debate hosts loosen up before starting last week.
As much as I call out Fox News for it's elevation of rigid conservative ideology and fringe op-ed over actual facts, reality and truth, overall the channel had a pretty good week.

Their live coverage of the 1st debate between the Republican presidential candidates from Cleveland last Thursday night scored high ratings and debate anchors Megyn Kelly, Chris Wallace and Brett Baier (pictured left) surprised many liberals and progressives with a relentless series of well-researched and hard-hitting questions that kept the candidates on edge.

Personally I was expecting slow-pitch softball but they delivered fast balls over the plate all night; to me only Ohio Governor John Kasich really hit it back out of the park with his comments on same-sex marriage and defying his party to accept the expansion of Medicare which is a major component of the Affordable Care Act.

Trump shrugs off his ignorance during Thursday's debate
Remarkably, when confronted with evidence of his own misogynist comments against women by Megyn Kelly, Donald Trump reverted to a bizarre subtle "threat" against her that he'd have to re-think his relationship with her simply because she was asking him the questions millions of Americans want to know.

Seriously, what is it that has to come out of this buffoon's mouth before the RNC realizes what a liability he is for Republicans in the 2016 general election and finally cuts him loose?

If his report card from fact-checkers monitoring the debate was any gauge the GOP needs to cut that rope pronto.

After the debate, Trump had the gall to try and brush off the fact that Kelly kicked his ass on national television by suggesting she was tough on him because she was menstruating; and his asinine "blood comment" has drawn outrage even from his fellow GOP presidential candidates. 

It also got Trump uninvited from the Red State Gathering event coming up this weekend in Atlanta as conservatives move to distance themselves from his ignorance, blustering toxicity and anger.

Trump even made a lame attempt to explain away his "blood comment", but that ship has already sailed; and Trump seems genuinely confused at the backlash against him.

After all he's only saying what he thinks conservative white Americans want to hear; and let's not pretend a guy who refers to African-Americans collectively as "the blacks" is speaking to any other demographic.

Trump is speaking to the Fox News audience.

"Fair & balanced"? Female Fox News hosts
On Saturday afternoon, a post on by Injolt posed an interesting question that's puzzled many people; "Why Are All the Female News Anchors At Fox News Blonde?" 

Accompany the article was the image to the left showing the photos of all the female Fox News anchors cropped next to one another.

Now even though I may have philosophical differences with the generally slanted content produced by said female Fox anchors, I'm not demeaning their professional ability or anything.

But there's clearly a creepy "Stepford Wives" aspect to their all having pretty much the same shade of blond hair like it's part of a uniform or something.

An August 3rd op-ed / blog post penned by essayist and cultural critic Chauncey DeVega entitled "Dear White America: Your Toxic Masculinity Is Killing You", written as an open letter to white people on his Indomitable blog about the dangers of what he calls "Toxic White Masculinity", offers some insight into Injolt's question about why all the female Fox News are blond. 

In the article (which I first read about on The Field-Negro's blog the other day) DeVega discusses, in part, the dangers of the distorted media perspective perpetuated by Fox News on a daily basis. 

DeVega shrewdly observes that Fox has "created an alternate reality for many white Americans where down is up and up is down so to speak." in which the Fox News viewing audience which is 92% white during prime time, exists.

The Fox News bubble doesn't reflect the America that actually exists, it reflects a culturally isolated walled-off suburban America the Fox News audience wants to see; one that is continually reinforced by the ideas of political extremists and "mainstream" white supremacists like Ann Coulter, Laura Graham, Rush Limbaugh and Pat Buchanan. 

The blond news anchor pictured above is a psychological reflection of what the Fox News audience sees; there are no Hispanic, Asian or women of color of African descent who host on Fox, though there are certainly very conservative women journalists from each of those demographics in this country.

During the debate, we didn't see that side from the Fox hosts, who seemed particularly intent on reaching out to the much more centrist view point that represents where mainstream America actually exists - and the ideological center from where the next president will elected in 2016.

In short, last Thursday night in Cleveland Megyn Kelly, Chris Wallace and Brett Baier temporarily stepped out of the Fox bubble to connect to reality.

The hard-hitting questions crafted by the hosts and their producers at Fox strike me as a calculated two-prong effort to begin to separate Donald Trump from the field of legitimate Republican candidates, and specifically silence the backlash from progressive and more liberal and centrist-leaning media organizations who've become adept at calling Fox out for it's BS.

What we saw last Thursday was a complete 180 from the 2008 election when Fox essentially created the Tea Party by lending non-stop coverage to what was then and still is, essentially a fringe extremist political movement that reflects the politics of a very small fraction of the total American electorate.

The Tea Party was barely (if at all) mentioned at last Thursday's event cleverly designed to reach towards the center, but if you click over to Fox you won't have to wait long to hear the vestiges of the Tea Bagger ideology where they butter their bread.

Fox was on it's best behavior for the debate, and the anchors came off like real journalists for a change.

But they're still Fox and they still pitch their tent far outside the boundaries of the mainstream American mindset.

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